Flex Putter Trainer puts some panache back into the putt

Golfing is a classic sport, one that requires power and finesse at the same time. Putting is an important part of golf and demands delicate motions to get the ball to cooperate.

The Flex Putter Trainer is a tool to help perfect that putting portion of golf. This club is made from flexible material so the shaft is bendy. This way, it exaggerates each motion. If the ball is hit too hard, the putter will really knock into it, training the golfer to go a bit easier. It also works if the ball is being hit too softly. The campaign claims that this product provides square impact, so the flexible nature of the club doesn’t mess with the direction of the ball.

There are scores of golf trainers out there. What’s great about the Flex Putter Trainer is that it really focuses on the power behind the putting stroke and doesn’t need technology to provide guidance. One can be had for a donation of $100 for estimated delivery in February 2015. Flex is hoping to raise $7,000 on Kickstarter.


Squat Master could provide fit glutes, another clothes rack

One of the best exercises out there is the squat. It’s a full body move that many personal trainers and gym rats reserve as their favorite for seeing results. The key to a good squat is to keep the feet and knees in line. This prevents injury or awkward movements. The Squat Master works to do just that. Looking much like any other gym tool, the Squat Master keeps the user’s feet and knees aligned with the help of its structure of foam rollers. Handlebars make it easy to squat farther down than without the help of this product. The campaign video demonstrates the limits of a free-form squat versus the range of the Squat Master squat. One of these simple fitness devices will cost backers $179, with two early bird prices of $149 and $164 for delivery in January 2015. Squat Master hopes to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter.

It’s quite true that squats are included in the repertoire of many workout regimes either in the gym or at home. Up until now, regular squats seemed to have worked just fine. Like many other machines that aid athletes in working out, the question remains: Does the help make the workout less effective? By adding handlebars and stabilizers for the legs, it seems like the Squat Master is completely taking away the balance needed to perform a squat which is most of the challenge. This product may be great for older fitness buffs who have knee or ankle trouble, but young athletes could probably do just find without.

Fitness Smartwatches/Bands

Moov wearable adapts to your workouts, offers coaching to improve them

editors-choiceThe Premise. All those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight are already two months old. A small percentage of them are probably still in progress, most have already been given up on, and some never even got started. Of course, it’s harder to turn down a workout with a trainer that can motivate, push, and correct issues with form or impact.

The Product. The Moov is designed to be the personal trainer that it doesn’t feel awkward working out in front of. Pairing with a mobile device (only iPhone 4s or above supported currently), the Moov can be attached or worn anywhere to monitor movement and track stats. More than just a simple pedometer, the Moov can have apps created for virtually any kind of workout, with built-in support for running, body weight workouts, cycling, boxing, and swimming (it’s waterproof). Most of these workouts only require the base Moov, but boxing works best with a second unit, one on each wrist, and up to five can be used in conjunction with each other. This way, not only will distance or reps be tracked, but the device can even provide suggestions to help exercise more safely and effectively.

The Pitch. The Web site for the Moov is pretty underwhelming and just sort of generic 2014 startup with plenty of big pictures and lots and lots of scrolling. The video ads are slick though, and show off the flexibility and possible applications the device could have beyond workouts, though hearing Apple’s Siri as a fitness coach feels less encouraging and more like an Orwellian state-sponsored physical fitness mandate. Moov needs $40,000 to hit the ground running.

The Perks. The Moov can be pre-ordered for $59.95 (half the retail cost), but the product’s creators also offer backers a nifty referral link that others can click through to pre-order as well, earning the original backer a $5 credit for each pre-order. The first batch is expected to ship in the summer of this year.

The Potential.  Moov is a lot more versatile than the average fitness band, and the coaching and multi-device usage really help it stand out; of course, the quality of that coaching remains to be seen. It’s adaptability to different exercises remind one of the Atlas, byt Moov’s approach is quite different. Many people with Fitbit friends know that it becomes all they talk about or post on social media. The Moov looks like the next evolutionary step in personal fitness devices, and will certainly command the same kind of enthusiasm from anyone trying to get or stay in shape.